Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Glass Frogs Begin

It's here! National Poetry Month  where  I feel not only justified in saturating us in poem and talk of poem, but compelled!  I am participating here on Intagliod and over at Sweetly Disturbed: there I will post in a single post/single day manner. As tradition dictates here at Intagliod, I will keep extending the poem in a single post so that I might see how it is running its rivery way down the page. Likely, by month's end, at some point, I'll hide the post, should the poem seem strong enough to try to find a home in print.

I have visited Robert Brewer's blog, Poetic Asides in order to receive my first day's prompt which deals with new arrivals and have written a little prosaic start to my:

Thirty Days of Looking at the Glass Frog

Coming into the light, a body
to grow no larger than an almond,
with nothing to hide. Clear-
bellied, the miraculous factory 
that runs them always visible, 
Their translucence against
a green leaf's a vanishing act.
Today: April, no fool's gold
to this sunshine, we're all 
about arrival.  The scientist 
who fell in love the species:
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi 
named his daughter Valerie
in their honor. 

What It must be to filter light,
feel the trail it follows inside,
like intuition only warmer,
the knowing a glowing
such a little form
but standing, window
to the side, a lantern
and a teaspoon of starlight
how nightfall must fall
soft as cinder, the day
coating as slowly as dust
gathered on a piano. 

Slowly, slowly the body
opens, a thorn’s puncture
here, the water glass tumbles
and a clear tooth opens
a scarlet throat in the sole
of the foot, or a possum
halfway across a highway
scripted now in elaborate entrails.
We are drawn and repelled
by what spells us out in organed-
particulars, taking the view in
a little at a time. The glass frog
belies such patience, giving us
what we want, never want
from what we love: to see
the musicbox-machinery
that runs those wistful singings.

Monday, April 01, 2013

To End the Day in Elegy

My mom's closest friend's son died yesterday. He was only two years older than I am and I grew up with him. That was a long time ago, but not long enough to be telling him goodbye, or his mother how wrong it is and how very sorry that I am or to feel that sinking feeling again when someone who was living so well and trying so hard to be good to his body is gone. It's never a fair thing, but sometimes it's more stupid than other times. Goodbye George Klonizos and to you Rita, godmother, second Mom, I can only send love and prayers from Ohio to too-too far Utah.   And these borrowed words:

The Comet
I re-named the comet but nothing stuck. What do I know of bone-
deep lonely, of the beautiful freeze, of running a circuit through the
stars until all landmarks are my own staring eyes: of families
in general, what do I know? Say I'm young. Say I am the aftertaste
of all my parents' grief, a childhood spent in the downwind
of chicken blood, recurring dreams of being left behind—my mother
kneeling by the VCR to watch a video of her lost daughter—
and this is Hell: believing you can be a lens and meet your
loved ones' eyes beyond the screen, smacking your pain against glass
like a doomed swallow The half-life of loss is forever.There is hope
we don't get over. When my son began to die, I did not record
his voice, but let him simmer, speechless, in my memory, while I tried
to gain the faith to think we'd meet again. I held his fist against my lips,
I closed my teeth around the juncture of his throat and chest, I said
you'll be the fire of the sun, and I will circle you until you draw me close,
until our nearness breaks me into pieces and you burn me whole
I would have ripped his heart out and consumed it if I'd thought
that it would choke me: I would have been the eternal mouth.
Say I'm young. Say the speeding rock of my body is as bright
as any resurrection, and I have time to shake before I hit the earth.

Copyright © 2012 Emma T√∂rzs All rights reserved
from Indiana Review 

Monday, February 18, 2013

If not before April, then April

to write about Glass Tree Frogs, to finish the poem for Gladys and the one for the raccoon and for Malinda Markham :-(  This will be my April shower of poeming, I like the way I did the National Poetry Month daily poetry last time and I think that this glass frogs thing has those kind of legs to it. (No web-toed pun intended.)  So here I am, checking in with you, my quieter blog, my somewhere-self and promising this kind of writing here and soon.

Tonight in Ohio, the night is being whipped about like a ragdoll and the baritone windchimes that came with our home give the wind a low-sexy voice. The bed is piled with quilt and cat. I am tired and cold enough to look forward to pulling the covers over my arms and turning into and away from that dervishing winter night.

For now, I await a midnight and send it along, time-zone by time-zone, to each of you.

I will tack a little Malinda Markham post-it note to a passing cloud:

The child on the stoop knows what wrong is because it grows
In the body and turns into birds that enter 
The outside world and flap their powdery wings
About her face until she can barely
Speak. No wonder she drops things a lot
No wonder the chloroform and slick. No wonder
The flowers learn to grow backwards into the earth 
Because it’s safer there and pounding
And fuck the colors are good

I call it gin because I need / a metallic word and my city rings / with drowned and terrible hooves / which pound until I fear they will enter / The outside world but friend they never do / The children are playing with teeth / They have learned to speak like anyone else / At night, at night / They chatter like parrots with no beaks / I go to work and parse everything dry 

Malinda Markham

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January, Dear January

It's been a while since a real update here at Intagliod: blog named after the unbelievably joyous arrival of my first book.

In that time, this has been a place to go with quiet wishes, various sadnesses, celebrations, pretty finds to share in word and image and companionship of the imaginary kind. If anyone was reading along, I'd no way of knowing, but I could imagine someone was and it was companionship to me when I moved to new cities and new selves and had no friends for a time or really, no friends close-by. Here was a place to hang my hope-hat, my poncho of longings. Here was a magical wardrobe to crawl through and build my own globe: mosaiced with the loveliest writing or prettiest thing I saw that day, a stockpot of sensory-finds and sundry emotions and friendship, if only my own, to talk me through some super-dark days.

Then I met A Someone and that Someone has made life feel even richer, but has filled it too, with a little house in the country, our crew of kitties and frogs and garden and deer, raccoons, possum, birds demanding their feeders stay filled, Christmas trees that stay alive by being planted in the yard, a yard that remembers what we give and an us that stays in one place long enough to reap what we sow. It was a busier breathing I began and I love it, but it keeps me often, from returning here.

I wanted to sum up the newnesses though. The kitties that grew old and died within a span of a few short months. The man who helped me grieve and bury them. The decision to foster a trio of orphan kittens and to fail at one of those fosters, thus bringing us our little tuxedo  cat to keep our one year old Cricket company. Then Clementine, because like me she'd waited too long for a keeping-place. The house revitalized with three kitties again, no one yet two. The stampedes that fill our days. The joy of it all. The frog rescues every spring, the little pond that grows the tadpole to pollywog and pollywog to frog and tree frog. Their perfectly articulated miniature selves. The herb garden, tire planters that I took from an abandoned house just as they were to be hauled away. A sixties trend to cut truck tires into floral planters and paint them bright colors and the way that I took that old project, labored over by other older hands and slapped on a new coat of paint, planted some mums at its core and made the house a little more our own with their colorful welcome at the driveway's end.  And beyond that driveway, south, south, south from here, my adored sister has given us a niece and a nephew that fill me with more love than  I thought possible.  Life is good just now and as I know just how tentative our "just nows" are, i want to track that here, share that you, whoever you are, if only really me again at another time when I need to remember how good it all got again after it had at times, been so bad.

The ring. At long last and my first. A Someone became The Someone and before this year ends, I will be married. There is so much celebrating to be done and I am savoring it all. And now the next books: a chapbook called Aloha Vaudeville Doll that will be published by Dancing Girl Press in summer of this year and finally, my collection of poems: The Rub, won a prize and will be out in early 2014 by Elixir Press. I can hardly believe it all.

Building of Unseen Cats

When I woke up, it was the middle of the night and
my building was on fire. The hallway was not filled
with smoke, and then quickly it was. I rescued a few
older men from their bathtubs, a few babies from
their cribs. Outside, the air was filled with hair.
Everyone but me was holding a plastic cage with a
cat in it. We weren't supposed to have cats in my
building, but there they all were, an invisible nation
suddenly uncurtained into a blinding and brutal
world. Everyone looked at me with a face that said
let's never speak o f this. Let's not look directly at what
is meant to be loved in secret. Let's, for example,
imagine the sea is always, constantly, and forever
spilling toward us, that our screaming building is
something worth escaping.

Zachary Schmoburg

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Next Big Thing Series

Thanks to Amanda Auchter for tagging me. Watch soon for responses from: Lesley Jenike, Cynthia Arrieu-King and Kelcey Ervick Parker.

Here is the interview:

What is the working title of the book?  The Rub
Where did the idea come from for the book?  A combination of borrowed voices, re-imagined fairytales, a couple of Ophelias, a handful of Pinocchios, some lost and founds, some finds and losses, and what is swapped for "the real."

What genre does your book fall under? Poetry.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? 

What a question to send one to dreaming. Colin Farrell as the unruly beloved, Rachel Weisz, just because she's Rachel Weisz. Tina Fey as Ophelia.  Pee Wee Herman as Hamlet.  Daniel Craig as Pinocchio.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Throw the map out the window, Darling, there's more everything ahead.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? There are so many versions of this book over time. Some version is a dozen years old, another, six months. I swapped poems in and out, changed order, changed my mind, the sheets, hairdressers, and all the while, like most books, it was in a state of continual revision. There is not just one first draft of this book. Other manuscripts grew from this, stole from it and gave back or into it.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All sorts of scenes, cities, loves and bad choices. Everything I wanted to keep or discard, the poems are always a way to try to remember and try to purge or forget. Mostly they have their own worlds and memories and I just try to listen in on those.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's a pretty eclectic gathering of poems. I try to imagine everything from "where secret animals might graze" to "other animals" the ones that didn't make it to the ark or this version of the world, to a jive-talkin' Ophelia.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
My book won the 13th Annual Editor's Prize at Elixir Press and will be published in 2014.
It is neither agency-represented nor self-published.

Friday, January 25, 2013


If all day yesterday I had not been putting January 23 on my documents, then perhaps today when I went to write a check at my vet's office, I would not have had to gasp and say, "I missed a friend's birthday."

But I did and so I remedy that this morning.


It's been a good year here and I hope that same can be said for yours. I hope beyond that, for joy and happiness each day of this next year.